Will the 12/21/12 conclusion of the 5,125-year-long-Mayan calendar mark the end of the world as we know it?  The so-called 2012 Phenomenon may well benefit the local economy.

Will the 12/21/12 conclusion of the 5,125-year-long-Mayan calendar mark the end of the world as we know it?

Some predict an electronic Armageddon, famine, drought, pestilence, and international political, religious, and social chaos. Many others claim 12/21 denotes the beginning of the next stage of human evolution.

The so-called 2012 Phenomenon may well benefit the local economy.

“Something’s definitely going on,” Mt. Shasta Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marie Wells said. “From January through March of this year, we’ve seen a 50% increase in spiritual groups requesting information about Mt. Shasta. In the same period, we’ve seen a 60% increase in website hits.”

“In a quick web search, we found over twenty 2012 phenomenon events advertising Mt. Shasta. And we’ve had numerous walk-ins and telephone requests from people considering possible relocation to Mt. Shasta so they can ‘be saved when the world ends’,” she added.

Many local organizations and businesses claim that Mt. Shasta is becoming a popular 2012 destination.

“We’re expecting 10,000 more people visiting our area compared to last year,” said Vicki Gold, a Mt. Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center board member. “The 2012 Phenomenon is bigger than 1987’s Harmonic Convergence, which drew crowds all summer. We’re already preparing for the masses who will visit Panther Meadow and South Gate.”

“I’m booked until the 21st of December,” Beverly Wilson, The Crystal Room owner, smiled.

Andrew Oser of Summit Coaching Services noted that last year he had no tours booked for April; this year he had three. “He told me he’s had many calls for summer tours, much earlier than in past years,” Wells said. “He attributes it to the 2012 Phenomenon.”

“I’m booking many more tours already, compared to previous years,” agreed Ashalyn, owner-director of Shasta Vortex Adventures. “When something big like this happens, people flock to sacred sites to get clarity, strengthen, understanding, and purpose.

“This spiritual pilgrimage will definitely benefit our economy. Many vacation rentals are already booked. People have to eat and they love buying mementos of their visit here.”

Miguel Mesa, owner of Sacred Seed Crystals, said, “We’re already seeing an impressive increase in the number of travelers and visitors from Japan, as well as throughout the US. International advertising campaigns are promoting Mt. Shasta because it’s a place of inspiration for healers of all types.”

“Mt. Shasta is considered a sacred site, so many people from around the world already come here,” said Siskiyou Land Trust member John Brennan. “But this year, even more will visit. More people means our restaurants, places of lodging, food, clothing, gift, and sporting goods stores will prosper.”

“Economists have a rule of thumb called six to one. Essentially, every dollar spent in a community generates six dollars more. This year will be a booming one for us. We’re excited about that since every store that closes means a dream was lost. We want Mt. Shasta to continue to be the place where people come to realize their dreams.”

2012 is not the first prediction of the world’s end, nor is Mt. Shasta the only ‘sacred site’ attracting an increased number of spiritual pilgrims.

“People have fled to sacred sites forever when they hear these predictions,” Ashalyn smiled. “But this time, they’re coming not out of fear, but to gain strength and clarity from the mountain. They believe it will help them to move into a new way of being, a Golden Age of Peace and Harmony, if you will.”

“Those on a spiritual path see Mt. Shasta as a spiritual Mecca,” Brennan agreed.
“They’re drawn here, as to a magnet,” he smiled.

“I’ve seen many transformed by their raw connection to the mountain’s energy,” Mesa added.

Not all are convinced that 2012 signifies a boom to Mt. Shasta’s economy. WESAK, celebrated the first weekend of May, typically draws large numbers of people. But event coordinator Dawn Fazende noted, “WESAK will not be as big this year. We were expecting it to be booked because of 2012, but that hasn’t happened.”

Fazende expressed doubts about the spiritual aspects of 2012, but she conceded, “There will be a shift in consciousness caused by cyclical earth changes as our planet renews its surface. Those changes will make us become dependent on ourselves and teach us to cooperate with community.”

Change in consciousness, according to those excited about 12/21/12, is ‘the point.’

“The calendar ends because the now of inner consciousness and life purpose begins,” Wilson laughed. “This now, this time, this year will happen as you envision it.”

“11/11 blew us away; we had no idea how significant that day was to so many,” said Bruce Caitlin, co-owner of Soul Connections. “Since then, we’ve seen a steady increase of people.”

“Expect more as the year continues,” Catherine Vergeer-Caitlin added.  “Hold on to your hats for 2012!”